Used Car Prices Skyrocketing: Cash In On Your Car

Market conditions in the auto industry have been drastically upset in the past couple of years.  A semi-conductor shortage means that fewer new SUVs and trucks are being produced, while global supply chains re-set from conditions that curtailed their production capacity.  So, what does this mean for your used vehicle? 

Due to the shortage of vehicles, the price differential has closed drastically with new car prices, catapulting 51%.  In light of this fact, if you are looking to sell your used vehicle, or if you have an extra one lying around, this could be the time to cash in. reports their median price for used cars has climbed from $17,493 up to $25,242 from December 2019 to December 2021, a 44% increase.  If you previously were “upside down” on your auto loan, you may find yourself being all of a sudden very right-side up.

Here’s a brief look at some of the best ways you can cash in on your used car before prices reset and supply chains go back to normal.


Replacing the longtime favorite “Classifieds Section” from your local paper, Craigslist remains one of the best ways to find a buyer for your car if you want to sell your car yourself.  You can likely get many thousands more than services which will do the work for you, though you have to field requests, show the car to prospective buyers, and have the title to do the transfer of paperwork.  You also have extra legwork to do if the car is not paid off.  You will need to find the local Craigslist from your respective area in order to post your car for sale.

Local Dealers

A local car dealer is an easy way to get a cash offer for your car without a lot of hassle.  Traditionally, this has been an easy option, though historically is one of the lowest payouts you might get for your vehicle.  In light of the current inventory shortage, be sure to see what local dealers have to offer for your car.  You might also be able to get a higher trade-in amount than normal if you are buying a new vehicle.


Carmax is a chain of used car dealers that will let you bring your car in and get a cash appraisal for it.  This combines the ease of a local dealership with the efficiency of an online car reselling solution.  To maximize your offer, be sure to bring any extra keys with you, and the title if you have it.  If the bank still has the title, be sure to bring all information you have related to your loan.


Carvana enables someone to get an offer for their car online in as little as two minutes.  All that is required is to share some vehicle details, and you get a real, firm offer through the internet.  There is no hassle and no haggling.  Carvana comes and picks up the car from you, so you don’t even have to go to a dealer.


Like Carvana, Shift is an online car buyer that will come to you.  They also advertise giving you an offer in minutes online.  You get a competitive free “estimate” through the web, and then Shift comes to you and gives you a final offer in person with their at-home evaluation.  If you decide to accept it, your car is picked up, and then you get paid within 3-7 days of your final offer payment being transferred.  Shift takes care of all the paperwork.

In Conclusion: Making Buyers Compete

Short of selling your car yourself online, you may be able to extract the most value from your car by making these buyers compete.  You can get an offer from a local dealer, Carmax, Shift, and Carvana, all within one week, as well as other potential car buyers which advertise online.  Then, go ahead and sell your car to the highest bidder, removing the hassle of dealing with Craigslist buyers who want to kick the tires and go for joyrides.  Make no mistake, selling your car yourself is the way to get top dollar, but this bounty comes at a cost to your time, especially if you still owe money on the car.